I’m still working on a post about my favourite books of 2020, so here I am instead to write a recap of the year! I haven’t done one of these end-of-year posts in a while, but Goodreads has shown me all of my reading statistics for the year, and I am still a number nerd.
Reading wise, this year has been exciting. It’s been my most ambitious reading year to date, I’ve fallen in love with the works of many new authors, and I’ve been making the most of my local library’s app for eBooks. This year has also been pretty tough. My mental health has been at it’s worst and I’ve fallen a bit out of love with writing, the one thing I’ve loved for a huge proportion of my life. And Covid. We won’t forget about that.
But this blog isn’t going to focus on that: it’s going to focus on all the good books I’ve read this year and how I suddenly need to buy a new bookshelf because I’ve filled my third one.
This post might be long. Let’s begin!
My reading goal for the year started at 52 books. It’s the goal I’ve set for the past few years as one book per week is manageable with my life commitments, and the length of my reads varies a lot. Due to quarantines and lockdowns and a sparse university schedule, I hit that goal very quickly.
I found this graph the other day on Goodreads and I wish I could change it to just books I read this year, but it’s still exciting. Here’s a quick breakdown of how many books I read each month this year:
- January: 8 books
- February: 2 books
- March: 5 books
- April: 1 book (Blue Lily, Lily Blue audiobook – Maggie Stiefvater has her audioboks on Spotify!)
- May: 5 – books
- June: 3 – books
- July: 7 books
- August: 13 books (mostly rereading the short Princess Diaries books, and Harry Potter)
- September: 10 books
- October: 10 books
- November: 5 books (mostly A Series of Unfortunate Events books)
- December: 5 books
I am someone who usually feels awful about giving books low ratings and will give one star books two stars instead. This year, I decided that I should start DNFing books I don’t like, instead of giving them low ratings or bad reviews simply because they’re not for me.
I am also someone finishes reading an averagely good or a good (but not great) book and instantly goes “yes!! very good!! five stars!!” and has to read the reviews to see if it was actually worthy of a full five stars or just a very high four. Even looking through my Goodreads shelves now, I can recognise that there are books that were incredible in the moment but the rating has gone down slightly as time has passed. I’ve tried to fix those so that chart is as accurate as possible.
This year, I gave out a lot more three star ratings than I have in the past as I’ve tried to be harsher and rate books on the story arcs and character development and other aspects instead of just my enjoyment.
I made a chart to see how many of the books this year were standalones, or if they were part of a series and I actually read the entire series or at least more than one book. I’ve done a few reading tags now with the question about preference between standalones or series and I can never decide which, so I tried to work it out mathematically and that failed. It turns out that I am almost equally a lover of both, but this year, I was prioritising series’ that I’d never read before.
I also noticed that most of the series I read this year were by authors I haven’t read in the past. Similarly, most of the standalones I read were written by authors that were completely new to my shelves.
Best and Worst
I’m trying to do a more detailed blog post and video on my favourite and least favourite books of the year (focusing more on favourites), so I’m going to keep this section short and sweet. These are all books I read this year but I don’t think they were all written this year.
Best of 2020
- Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury. I went into this with no expectations because the kindle edition was 83p and had a pretty cover. It was incredible. I reviewed it here
- Loveless by Alice Oseman. Every single page of this book felt like a personal attack in the best way possible.
- Aristostle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This has been on my TBR list for a while, but seeing Isla post about it pushed it to the top of my list. And I’m in love. And my heart still hurts. Ten out of ten.
Worst of 2020
(more like books I thought I’d love, but didn’t)
- We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan. I loved one of Crossan’s books and loved it so I’ve been reading more of her works to find something with the same spark, but everything else pales in comparison.
- The Stuff of Nightmares by Malorie Blackman. I read this at the start of the year and barely remember it anymore, but what I do remember is skim reading a majority of it and skipping whole chapters because I was bored.
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. Society has progressed past the need for popular early 2010s authors to create prequels from other characters’ perspectives. I would have enjoyed this book even less if it was set outside of the Hunger Games universe.